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#68996 - 01/16/10 05:46 PM Secrets of Laser Hair Removal Unveiled
LaserStrega Offline
Member

Registered: 01/16/10
Posts: 1
Loc: New York City
Lasers are by far the most efficient weapon we have today in our fight against unwanted hair. However, different lasers produce electromagnetic energy {light} of different wavelengths. The wavelength emitted by the laser is indicative of its target chromophore. Different wavelengths of energy will have more or less impact regarding melanin absorption whereby being more or less affective in causing permanent reduction in hair growth.

This being said, let’s take a look at the lasers that are used for hair destruction and the pros and cons of their particular emitted wavelengths.

The ruby laser emits light at a 694nm wavelength. It achieves the highest melanin absorption of any other laser used for hair removal. However, with this extreme absorption potential comes a high risk of hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation on anyone other than the lightest skin tones. Also because of its shorter wavelength, maximum depth penetration is limited to about 2mm. This is often too shallow to send enough heat to disable the blood supply which promotes new hair growth, especially in coarser, more developed hairs. The ruby laser was used in the mid 1990s but soon took a back seat to safer and more effective laser systems, such as are used by hair removal professionals today.

The Nd:YAG laser emits an invisible ray of light of a 1064nm wavelength. It is weaker pertaining to melanin absorption in comparison to other laser systems used for hair reduction. While it may lack in melanin absorption, which makes it the laser of choice for tanned and darker toned individuals, it has the highest depth penetration of all laser systems designed for hair destruction {almost 6mm} due to its longer emitted wavelength. This makes it possible to reach the hair producing papilla of even to deepest rooted hairs. However, because of the weaker melanin absorption capability of the Nd:YAG laser the hair will require more treatments than with other laser systems to achieve permanent elimination of hair growth; due to its lower heat producing ratio within the structure of the hair shaft.

Diode lasers produce a few different wavelengths of light depending on their internal circuitry. Regarding hair eradication we are concerned with the 800nm wavelength of visible electromagnetic energy {light} emitting diode laser. It has higher melanin absorption potential than the Nd:YAG laser. Therefore it is more likely to cause adverse skin reactions on clients with darker skin types. It can penetrate up to 4mm below the skin surface which is more than necessary to sufficiently denature even the coarsest and deepest hairs.

The alexandrite laser emits a ray of visible light of a 755nm wavelength. The alexandrite is the prodigy of the old ruby laser, whereas it has excellent melanin absorption while still being safe and effective in causing permanent hair reduction even up to olive skin tones. Like the 800nm diode laser it can penetrate up to 4mm below the skin surface instilling sufficient heat to disable the regenerative properties of hair follicles on a massive scale. For client comfort, efficient permanent hair destruction, speed, and ease of use, the alexandrite laser far surpasses all other laser systems in use today.

Expected results are of paramount concern to anyone contemplating laser hair removal treatment. This can be assessed through careful observation of the four intrinsic factors which determine if a client is a candidate for this procedure. These factors are:

1. Skin tone. This determines the percentage of the laser energy that will be absorbed by the skin. Darker skin tones dictate a lessening of the laser’s intensity output in order to prevent unfavorable tissue reaction. Therefore in darker skinned clients more treatments will be needed to achieve comparable results to clients of lighter skin tones.

2. Hair color. This is a relevant factor in evaluating the potential outcome of a laser hair reduction treatment. Melanin concentration within the hair shaft is indicative of the amount of heat generated and released into the germinative matrix cells and papilla, which are responsible for producing new hair growth. This is evaluated by your laser technician so that the proper energy perimeters are applied in order to achieve maximum denaturing effect within the follicle.

3. Hair density. When many hairs are treated in close proximity to each other some cumulative heat is produced which is absorbed by the surrounding tissue. This is not an adverse situation as a competent laser hair removal technician will set the laser’s energy perimeters to compensate for this effect while still achieving optimum results.

4. Hair diameter. The thickness of a hair is a relevant consideration regarding its thermal relaxation time. A thicker hair will take longer to absorb sufficient heat than a thinner hair. Also a thicker hair will hold its heat for a longer time, instilling its heat into the surrounding tissue. This need not be a problem as a competent laser hair removal technician will adjust the timing and intensity levels to safely achieve optimum hair destruction.

Through an understanding of these laws of photodynamic behavior it becomes obvious that many different scenarios can exist. However, some rules of thumb do apply and from these a probable outcome can be estimated of the efficacy of the treatments. This can best be ascertained through observation by your laser hair removal technician during your initial consultation. In general a 30% elimination of hair regrowth per treatment session is an average result.

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#88104 - 06/02/11 02:28 PM Re: Secrets of Laser Hair Removal Unveiled [Re: LaserStrega]
follizap Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 02/17/11
Posts: 142
Loc: england
Does a 30% elimination of hair regrowth per treatment suggest that an individual would never achieve full permanent clearance?

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#88107 - 06/02/11 02:59 PM Re: Secrets of Laser Hair Removal Unveiled [Re: follizap]
Miro Offline
Top 20 Contributor

Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 211
Loc: Slovakia
Many people dont archieve any reduction (or just some reduction in the coarseness and color of the hair0, 30% is hardly an average for 1 session..
_________________________
Male 25
4y laser
Neck, back, shoulders, upper arms,chest, abdomen, butt, armpits
4x Lightsheer 9mm 40-45J
Result: thicker, coarser, denser hair and growth in new areas.

Neck, back, shoulders, upper arms
9x GentleLase 15mm - 8x 25J, 1x30J
after first treament much thicker, coarser, denser hair and growth in newareas.
next 8 treatments - reduction in coarseness.Reduction in density on top of shoulders, neck(50%).

15. April 2011 start PRO thermolysis neck, upper arms, shoulders, back
11 sessions, 25,5hours, 28 500 hairs removed + 80hours with Josefa -great results, Im happy! smile

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#88110 - 06/02/11 04:52 PM Re: Secrets of Laser Hair Removal Unveiled [Re: LaserStrega]
James W. Walker VII Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 8041
Loc: Buffalo NY, & Traveling the US...
Originally Posted By: LaserStrega
Lasers are by far the most efficient weapon we have today in our fight against unwanted hair.
...
Through an understanding of these laws of photodynamic behavior it becomes obvious that many different scenarios can exist. However, some rules of thumb do apply and from these a probable outcome can be estimated of the efficacy of the treatments. This can best be ascertained through observation by your laser hair removal technician during your initial consultation. In general a 30% elimination of hair regrowth per treatment session is an average result.


At the risk of re-igniting the constant Electrolysis vs LASER war on here, I have to say that I wonder what your definition of "most efficient weapon in hair removal today".

The transgendered client has a transformation that will cost them at least $50,000 and most have no room for error in their transformation budget. While I am well aware that one can't throw a dart into a map and get the kind of treatment that I provide, I have to say that what I provide my clients is a far cry from what I have seen most people getting from LASER, and those clients of mine who come in for me to finish what they started via LASER have said that if they knew then, what they know now, they would have started with me, and bypassed LASER altogether. In fact, one of the clients that speaks on my YouTube video says just that.

My trans clients get full clearance in one trip, go home to have 3 to 4 weeks of hair free skin, and then we hit maintenance phase. Once every 6 weeks we re-clear the area, and while they would be spending 3 weeks waiting for LASER shedding, they are instead enjoying skin that looks finished with me.

How is LASER more efficient than that? Oh, yeah, time on the treatment table. Except that what I am talking about doing is a sure bet, and LASER is a roll of the dice, and a prayer that the result is at least positive. Oh, and not even an electrolysis provider would claim to have 30% reduction per full clearance.

I remove every last noticeable hair when I do a clearance, and yet, it still takes me an average of 13 full clearances over the course of 18 months to get someone finished. While the reduction of hair in that area, during that phase of growth is surely more than 30%, it will take a year for that to become obvious. Even then, the person won't notice anything without keeping a photo log of the treatments.

I just can't see recommending LASER as the hair removal choice for the average TransPerson. They need reliability and assurance for their treatment dollars, and they don't have the time needed to endure an error in treatment plans. The lives that can be saved by good and expeditious facial hair removal is unmeasurable.
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#88112 - 06/02/11 06:40 PM Re: Secrets of Laser Hair Removal Unveiled [Re: James W. Walker VII]
Michael Bono Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 3115
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA USA
Let me “chime in” with James this morning. First, the story I’m telling is, of course, only one story and as such “anecdotal.” I’m not necessarily drawing any conclusions; the reader can make their own interpretation. It’s about my patient “Chris.”

At least 12 years ago, I was removing his “carpeted” back hair. I completed one shoulder (one clearing) and was moving along at a nice pace. He discovered laser. He was not very pleasant about it and “denounced” me as having worn-out old technology, and that I was “ripping him off.” I didn’t see him for ages. Now, fast forward to two years ago.

I met Chris on the bike bath and, after a few kind words; he asked me if I was still doing electrolysis. He called me that afternoon and made an appointment. His story was stunning. Chris had undergone 10+ years of laser treatment — using virtually every kind of laser made. Dr. Keller had even been giving him free treatments because he felt “bad” things had not progressed.

Stunningly, Chris said: “Mike, the only clear spot I have on my whole body is the spot you did 12 years ago. He had spent about $10,000 on his treatments and it looked about the same.

It took me a total of 13.5 hours to clear off his back. Amazingly, and here’s the interesting part, there was nearly 100% clearance with only one time over! So, would he have been better served by just doing electrolysis? I know he would have been finished 12 years ago. Still, the laser must have done something, because I have never encountered such a result with only one time over.

Similar to James, I am averaging about 50 hours total for beard removal (although my strategy is different). Like James, our results are guaranteed. Yes, electrolysis is an unpleasant process, but after 100 years we can say that electrolysis is safe (no long-term health problems ever) and permanent if done properly.

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#88114 - 06/02/11 08:14 PM Re: Secrets of Laser Hair Removal Unveiled [Re: Michael Bono]
Michael Bono Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 3115
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA USA
One more interesting note:
The hair on Chris was almost entirely in telogen. Normally, on a 40-something guy, you will encounter something like 60/40 (anagen to telogen). On Chris, it was 1 anagen to 100 telogen — I counted them. This is not the first time I have seen this on guys that have had laser and "significant" regrowing hairs. Same thing, specifically, on "Enzo" and he was 27: 1 anagen to 100 telogen. (Lots of food for thought here.)

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#88115 - 06/02/11 08:26 PM Re: Secrets of Laser Hair Removal Unveiled [Re: Michael Bono]
LAgirl Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 12/22/04
Posts: 9994
Loc: New York, NY
I'll reiterate what I always say.

1. Don't compare BAD laser treatments to GOOD electrolysis treatments. Not a fair comparison. There is plenty of bad electrolysis being done. Just read the electrolysis section of this forum

2. Laser ONLY works on coarse growth. If the machine and settings are good, it removes coarse growth permanently. Everything else is not a problem with laser. It's a problem with the laser OPERATOR. Just like lack of electrolysis results is a problem with the electrologist and doesn't mean that electrolysis doesn't work.

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#88118 - 06/02/11 08:33 PM Re: Secrets of Laser Hair Removal Unveiled [Re: LAgirl]
Michael Bono Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 3115
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA USA
LAgirl, what do you make of the ratio of anagen to telogen. And, of course you are right about "it's the technician." I'm going to see if I can get Chris to actually tell his story here on Hairtell. First hand is always best.

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#88122 - 06/02/11 08:49 PM Re: Secrets of Laser Hair Removal Unveiled [Re: Michael Bono]
LAgirl Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 12/22/04
Posts: 9994
Loc: New York, NY
If he recently had treatments done and had them done regularly, the hair was probably synchronized. It's hard to comment on anything else without seeing photos to see if the hair was even coarse enough to treat in the first place. And it's hard to judge those "laser treatments" without knowing what specific machine and settings were used each time, whether he saw shedding each time, etc.

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